Digipub 2017

A panel of ex­perts spoke about cop­ing with chang­ing al­go­rithms, at Digipub World.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Ash­wini Gan­gal

VI­NAY SINGHAL co-founder and CEO of Wit­tyFeed

SHOULD PUB­LISH­ERS BE SCARED OF FACE­BOOK? YES, I THINK WE SHOULD BE. EVERY SIN­GLE PUB­LISHER, across the board, de­pends on Face­book for 60-70 per cent of their re­fer­ral traf­fic. So by de­fault they (Face­book) have a large (de­gree) of con­trol over us. But at the end of the day, their (Face­book) shops run be­cause we put up our con­tent on their plat­form... and if they keep chang­ing things and are not aligned with us as pub­lish­ers then they will also have a prob­lem in the long run. So the way to nav­i­gate this is – stay within the pol­icy guide­lines, cre­ate rel­e­vant con­tent... and the end game for Face­book or Google is mak­ing sure peo­ple spend more time on their plat­forms; if you help them do that, they will love you.

While I agree (con­tent) seed­ing plays a big role, it’s re­ally not us who will de­cide what kind of for­mat (of con­tent) will be con­sumed.

PRASAD SANYAL group edi­tor – dig­i­tal, Zee Me­dia

AS PUB­LISH­ERS, AS CON­TENT PROPRIETORS, WE ARE RE­SPON­SI­BLE FOR CHANG­ING con­sumer be­hav­iour, to an ex­tent. Peo­ple ask for more videos be­cause we are giv­ing them more videos. Peo­ple will con­sume what­ever you give them. In my last pro­file as edi­tor at The Times of In­dia (dot com), there was a stan­dard thing where some­body would say, ‘This story is do­ing bril­liantly...’ and that story was the lead story on the Times of In­dia home­page. With so much di­rect traf­fic, of course that story was do­ing great... you’re play­ing it up. So if as pub­lish­ers we keep do­ing and pro­mot­ing videos then yes peo­ple will start con­sum­ing videos.

While Face­book isn’t com­pelling us, it is push­ing us – by giv­ing pub­lish­ers min­i­mum guar­an­tees for videos, by en­cour­ag­ing pub­lish­ers to put videos on their plat­form... Face­book is push­ing us.

VENKATESH CHANNARAJ chief busi­ness of­fi­cer, Hol­i­dayIQ

HOW DOES ONE KEEP UP WITH CHANG­ING AL­GO­RITHMS? OUR THREE-PRONGED STRAT­EGY IS – au­to­mate, choose for­mats clev­erly and choose for­mats that can be au­to­mated eas­ily; videos and images are for­mats that you can au­to­mate eas­ily. Part of adapt­ing to the chang­ing al­go­rithm is to not think you know the au­di­ence but ac­tu­ally use a test-and-it­er­ate ap­proach. We see our­selves pro­duc­ing 10,000 pieces of con­tent ev­ery­day; and that’s not go­ing to hap­pen through con­tent writ­ers... peo­ple are not read­ing much to­day. The world is turn­ing vis­ual, in terms of images and videos; Face­book seems to have that con­vic­tion too. We are in­vest­ing in video for­mats.

You need to be present on Face­book to man­i­fest la­tent in­tent... Face­book is more fun cre­atively, if you want to try new things. Google is a lit­tle more straight­for­ward... and they favour big brands, ac­cord­ing to us.

BHARANIDHARAN VISWANATHAN CEO and founder, 91mo­biles.com

THERE ARE PROS AND CONS TO BOTH PLAT­FORMS (GOOGLE, FACE­BOOK). WE ARE CON­FI­DENT AND com­fort­able with crack­ing Google. We have un­der­stood Google very well. The al­go­rithm is fairly clear. On Google, the re­sults are fairly sta­ble and pre­dictable... but they take time.

There are mul­ti­ple chal­lenges when it comes to crack­ing Face­book. Face­book is very opaque; they don’t tell you why they’re chang­ing what they’re chang­ing... and how of­ten they will change (their al­go­rithms). The sec­ond prob­lem with Face­book is that you have to pro­duce (con­tent) daily... the life of con­tent on Face­book is short. But on Face­book, un­like Google, you see re­sults in­stantly.

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